John Walker Lindh, the American captured in Afghanistan in 2001 fighting for the Taliban, has been released early from a US federal prison, the Washington Post reports, citing Lindh’s lawyer.
Lindh, who was 20 years old when he was captured, left prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, on probation after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, the newspaper said.
Now 38, Lindh is among dozens of prisoners set to be released over the next few years after being captured in Iraq and Afghanistan by US forces and convicted of terrorism-related crimes following the attacks by al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.
His release brought objections from elected officials who asked why Lindh was being freed early and what training parole officers had to spot radicalisation and recidivism among former jihadists.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Lindh’s release “unexplainable and unconscionable”.
“There’s something deeply troubling and wrong about it,” he said on Fox News on Thursday morning.
Leaked US government documents published by Foreign Policy magazine show the federal government as recently as 2016 described Lindh as holding “extremist views”.
US-born Lindh converted from Catholicism to Islam as a teenager. At his 2002 sentencing he said he travelled to Yemen to learn Arabic and then to Pakistan to study Islam.
He said he volunteered as a soldier with the Taliban, the radical Sunni Muslim group that ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, to help fellow Muslims in their struggle or “jihad”.
He said he had no intention “to fight against America” and never understood jihad to mean anti-Americanism.
Lindh told the court he condemned “terrorism on every level” and attacks by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden were “completely against Islam”.
But a January 2017 report by the US government’s National Counterterrorism Center, published by Foreign Policy, said that as of May 2016, Lindh “continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts”.
NBC News reported that Lindh wrote a letter to its Los Angeles station KNBC in 2015 expressing support for Islamic State, saying the Islamic militant group was fulfilling “a religious obligation to establish a caliphate through armed struggle”.
Kidnapping: Police Rescued 3 Abducted Lebanese Nationals In Rivers
Rivers Police Command says it has rescued three Lebanese nationals who were abducted at a construction site in Andoni Local...
Edo Commences Preparation For 2019 Christian Pilgrimage
The Edo State Government has commenced preparation for the 2019 Christian pilgrimage, with a call on Christians in the state...
Despite Challenges, Nigeria Haven For Investments, Innovation – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in New York said the huge development challenges facing Nigeria and the rest of Africa were...
2019 Election: 60 Presidential Pass Vote Of Confidence On INEC, Urges PMB To Sign Electoral Act
Sixty presidential candidates in the just concluded 2019 elections under the banner of the Joint Forum of Presidential Candidates and...
AIHS To Unveil Alternative Housing, Construction Finance Opportunities
The Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) is expected to unveil the alternative models and opportunities for accessing housing and construction...
KEDCO Engages 5 Firms For Meters Distribution
The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) is to engage five vendors on metering service delivery as a measure to close...
KEDCO Embraces Research, Innovation
The Managing Director of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) Dr Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, has said the company would embrace all...
NEWS21 hours ago
Gov Fintiri Sacks LG Staff Employed from April 2016 To Date
NEWS21 hours ago
INEC Server: Stop Heating Up Nigeria’s Polity, NANS Tell Atiku
COVER STORIES11 hours ago
CBN Kicks Off PMB’s 100m Jobs Project
NEWS19 hours ago
Gov Fintiri Declares Free Education in Public Schools in Adamawa
COVER STORIES12 hours ago
Zamfara: Ex-Gov Yari Leaves N251bn Debt
NEWS21 hours ago
FMC, Keffi Staff Protest Appointment Of New Clinical Head
NEWS24 hours ago
Ethiopia ‘Coup Ringleader Killed’
WORLD2 hours ago
‘Mental Retardation’: Iran’s President Mocks Donald Trump